|Long title||An Act to provide for the destruction, retention, use and other regulation of certain evidential material; to impose consent and other requirements in relation to certain processing of biometric information relating to children; to provide for a code of practice about surveillance camera systems and for the appointment and role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner; to provide for judicial approval in relation to certain authorisations and notices under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; to provide for the repeal or rewriting of powers of entry and associated powers and for codes of practice and other safeguards in relation to such powers; to make provision about vehicles left on land; to amend the maximum detention period for terrorist suspects; to replace certain stop and search powers and to provide for a related code of practice; to make provision about the safeguarding of vulnerable groups and about criminal records including provision for the establishment of the Disclosure and Barring Service and the dissolution of the Independent Safeguarding Authority; to disregard convictions and cautions for certain abolished offences; to make provision about the release and publication of datasets held by public authorities and to make other provision about freedom of information and the Information Commissioner; to make provision about the trafficking of people for exploitation and about stalking; to repeal certain enactments; and for connected purposes.|
|Introduced by||Theresa May|
|Royal assent||1 May 2012|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. As the Protection of Freedoms Bill, it was introduced in February 2011, by the Home Secretary, Theresa May. The Bill was sponsored by the Home Office. On Tuesday, 1 May 2012 the Protection of Freedoms bill completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent.
The concept developed from the Great Repeal Bill proposed in 2008 by Conservative Party representatives Douglas Carswell MP and Dan Hannan MEP as part of a radical "Twelve months to renew Britain". After the 2010 general election, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government whose agreed programme initially promised a Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill or "a Freedom or Great Repeal Bill", "Freedom" being the Liberal Democrats' preferred title, "Great Repeal" the Conservatives'. The ensuing Queen's Speech referred to "A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill" which:
would address concerns around what has been described as a tidal wave of criminal justice legislation in recent years. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen the accountability of bodies receiving public funding in light of lessons learnt so far from the operation of the Freedom of Information Act.
The programme was later changed to refer to a Freedom Bill. After the Protection of Freedoms Bill was introduced in 2011, critics claimed it was piecemeal, incoherent, and too focused on protection from public-sector intrusion without sufficient focus on private-sector intrusion.Nick Clegg said, "There may even be a great repeal act down the road that would look at some of the laws not addressed in this bill."
In 2011, Jonathan Djanogly said in answer to a parliamentary question that a Repeals Bill would be a separate civil liberties measure from "the abolition of ID cards; the Protection of Freedoms Bill; and the Your Freedom public engagement exercise which took place over the summer".
Chapter 1 makes provision in respect of the destruction, retention, and use of fingerprints, footwear impressions and DNA samples. In addition it covers profiles taken in the course of a criminal investigation. Under the new scheme provided for in this Chapter, the fingerprints and DNA profiles taken from persons arrested for or charged with a minor offence will be destroyed following either acquittal or a decision not to charge.
Chapter 1 creates new regulation for, and instructs the Secretary of State to prepare a code of practice towards closed-circuit television and automatic number plate recognition. Chapter 2 amends the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Chapter 1 reforms and repeals aspects of the powers to enter land and to review existing powers of entry legislation. It would implement restrictions as to the premises over which the power may be exercised, who can exercise them, and which conditions can be satisfied for them to be exercised.
Chapter 2 makes it a criminal offence for a private person on private or public land to immobilise a vehicle (e.g. by clamping or obstructing), or to move a vehicle, with a view to denying the owner access to it. Section 99 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is amended to extend and amend the powers of public authorities to move vehicles parked obstructively, illegally, or dangerously, including on private land. However, clamping is still permitted where an Act of Parliament or byelaw permits the practice, such as the Railway Byelaws.
Clamping of vehicles and provisions relating to charging registered keepers of vehicles where a contract has been entered into with landowners or their agents is dealt with by Clauses 54-56 and Schedule 4 of the Act. These would have the effect of making it possible for private landowners and their agents to attempt to recover unpaid parking charges on private land (providing certain conditions are met) from the registered keeper of a vehicle in cases where it is not known who was driving at the time of the parking charge notice being issued. Paragraph 3 defines "relevant land" as excluding highways maintainable at the public expense (within the meaning of section 329(1) of the Highways Act 1980). Under the original wording of the Bill as introduced, clamping would be unlawful on private car-parks unless entrances are barriered. However, Clause 54 was amended at Report stage in the House of Commons such that clamping would be unlawful regardless of the existence of a barrier.
Clause 57 reduces the pre-detention of terrorist suspects to a maximum of 14 days.
This Part removes the 'stop and search' regulations of the Terrorism Act 2000 and reforms the operation of the power to search people and vehicles, in addition to creating new Code of Practice rules in respect of these powers.
This section needs to be updated.(September 2015)
The current evolving bill undoubtedly has roots in similar legislation that was proposed in a book entitled The Plan: 12 Months to Renew Britain written by Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan, which argued for openness in politics, business-friendly policies, deregulation, and more direct democracy
This will include: - A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
Its name reflects the make-up of the new Government, including the Liberal Democrats preferred "Freedom Bill" and the Tory's "Great Repeal" message.
We will introduce a Freedom Bill